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Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

We all know we are in a mild depression. Do you anticipate that America will revive again like after the great depression?

Asked by Imadethisupwithnoforethought (14635points) August 29th, 2012

Do you anticipate that America, after the current downturn, will again become a powerhouse of economic growth? Why or why not? What do you base your pessimism or optimism upon?

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12 Answers

ninja_man's avatar

I sure hope that things will turn around. After all, my well being still largely hinges on the economy recovering.

That said, I do not see much reason for optimism. I see the situation facing the US as being somewhat analogous to the situation faced by the British after WWII. There are also analogies that can be drawn from Roman history. Whether or not our system has the vitality to survive intact, only time can tell. Something will definitely replace the US hegemony if it fails. We will see if the world will need to suffer another Dark Age first.

abundantlife's avatar

Its America we are talking about. The Americans always stand on its feet in the extreme downtimes. This is nothing compares to what happens before. Also the leader in the form of Obama assures the Americans that these tough times will be over soon.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I sure hope it doesn’t take a world war to pull us out of this depression.

Shippy's avatar

Society always moves in cycles, it is the previous cycle that gives birth to the new one, so I would say yes.

wonderingwhy's avatar

It’s a downturn of our own making which means we can unmake it if we have the will to do so. I don’t believe it’s going to happen though, not like it did previously at least. I just don’t see Americans as being willing to pull together and sacrifice individually in order to strengthen the whole. Combined with what I see as short term scaffolding being built rather than long term framework and it all looks a little shaky. It’s certainly possible we will rebound to greater highs that previously seen however I don’t think we’ve the wherewithal to build the foundation necessary to support those highs and grow them sustainably. Then again such things are relative and don’t necessarily come to light unless something of enough significance forces the issue. Here’s hoping we either find that “want to” and lead the opening of a new era or step aside gracefully for someone who’s already got it and let them take the reigns.

Mariah's avatar

To take a different approach… this term I have started studying system dynamics, kind of a niche field dedicated to understanding and modeling complex systems such as a nation’s economy. Interestingly, the man who founded the field, Jay Forrester (he is still alive and lecturing at MIT at the ripe old age of 94), unexpectedly found that his models predict a 40–60 year cycle in the economies of capitalist nations. It was his finding that longwave depressions happen are a natural result of the capitalist system. His finding explained the Great Depression, predicted this current depression, and predicts future depressions as well. But just as the depressions are predicted to be regular and cyclical, so are the recoveries.

Strauss's avatar

@mariah GA, I wonder, though, does Prof. Forrester have a reason that the economic downturns over the past 90 years have not been as severe as the Great Depression?

Only138's avatar

I totally believe that America will pull itself out of its depression. I have nothing to substantiate this with, other than faith. America is all I’ve ever known…..its never let me down….and I’m not anticipating it now. Go U.S.A!!! :)

woodcutter's avatar

Fucking aye. But it will be the private sector that manages it, slow as it probably will be, I doubt the govt will get much credit because it won’t deserve much of it. I believe we will get hit by one more financial fuck up at least, possibly in conjunction with some other disaster ,before things work themselves out. I don’t think it’s going to matter who is in charge this is going to hurt a long time Jerry Cantrell.

rojo's avatar

Unfortunately, no. I do not. We have about run our course and are on our way to becoming a second rate power (with nukes) like Russia.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

^^ I agree comrade

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

No, I think some very fundamental elements have changed. The current depression (and you are correct, it is a depression, NOT a “recession” as the media and government would have you think) is both cyclical and structural. When the majority of the job growth we’ve had is composed of low-wage jobs and when you have global economies slowing down substantially (especially Europe, where Germany and its pals have mismanaged the fiscal crisis (in Greece, especially), things aren’t going to improve anytime soon.

The biggest problems we have include global overpopulation (the elephant in the room no one really wants to talk about, but it’s at the root of just about all, if not all, our problems), environmental damage, and crony capitalism. Here in the U.S., we managed fairly well from about the 1940’s to the 1970’s, because we had regulated capitalism, thanks in no small part to FDR, who helped save capitalism from itself (which his upper-class peers didn’t fully appreciate, then or now). We have since slipped back into crony capitalism, just like the Gilded Age.

You add to that an increasingly closed, increasingly fascist society/government (I’m not talking about German-style fascism, which is a popular allegory on the left these days, but Soviet-style authoritarianism; think East Germany), and I think we’re all going to be in for a very bumpy ride the next few decades. How it all pans out will first depend on how we manage the environmental problems we have. How we adapt to the changes that are occurring will then determine what kind of economic system survives. As an armchair historian, I’m fascinated; as a human being, I’m terrified.

I think America has had its day, unfortunately. Right now we’re still one of the global powerhouses, along with China, India, Brazil, and a handful of others. But I don’t foresee any one nation stepping up for their turn in the sun; even China’s economy is starting to slow down, just a little. I think we’ll continue along with a few top dogs for a couple decades more or so, until the inevitable crises occur, such as the decline of oil, water shortages, food shortages, etc.

That’s enough bleakness for one post, I think.

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